Local experts warn of potential impact of “sports fan depression”

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -Baylor basketball had a tough weekend as both the men’s and women’s teams fell in games they were favored to win.

This can take a toll on the players and coaches.

“It’s always hard when you lose, but it’s amazing knowing you have people behind you and have people that love you,” Caitlin Bickle, a senior on the Baylor Women’s Basketball team, said.

Also, fans are trying to wrap their heads around the unexpected losses.

“We were down by 25 at one point, we came back and I thought we would pull it out but sadly no,” Christopher Blasi, a freshman at Baylor, said.

“Definitely really sad about the losses but I just love the bears so much,” Susie Spear, another freshman, said.

It’s the love for their team that can lead to a negative reaction or what experts are calling “sports fan depression”.

“It can kind of take on a form of grief where it can be very depressing, very sad,” Nick Molnar with Thriveworks Counseling said.

“It can also go to the other side of the spectrum where it can be more of an anger and that’s when you see people lashing out.”

Molnar says he has seen it first hand with people he works with and can be compounded with other challenges people are facing.

“A lot of times with sports fan depression, whether it be the grief and the sadness or the anger and the outburst, can really be a sign of something deeper going on,” Molnar said.

Sports can go from being an escape to an added stressor, and that’s why it’s important to remember healthy coping mechanisms like keeping up with social interactions or finding something to fill that time typically spent watching sports.

Molnar says if you find yourself having a tough time where it is impacting your day-to-day life, neglecting hygiene, or avoiding social interactions that it may be a good idea to talk to a professional.

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